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Suzan Mazur: A non-linear language needed for life? Meet Luis Villareal

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Suzan Mazur: It’s clear to me from reading your papers that you have issues with neo-Darwinism.

Luis Villarreal: The issues first came up when I began looking at quasispecies in the early 1970s. I was a researcher in the lab of the late John Holland, where there was real enthusiasm for studying evolution theory in the context of actual virus measurements, because the whole concept derived from thinking about RNA viruses.

I wasn’t interested really in evolutionary theory at a deep level. I was interested in persistence, and for this the Modern Synthesis didn’t seem to be working. I just assumed that the theory didn’t apply or work in the specific situations we were studying involving persistence, such as VSV, rabies and measles. But the more I got into the research, neo-Darwinism appeared to be working less and less. After I left that area of RNA virus research and began investigating SV40/polyoma virus with Paul Berg at Stanford, that’s when it really struck me that a shift in evolutionary thinking was required — because I realized that these were viruses that make their living by being persistent and stable entities that are essentially part of the host. The theory we had at the time to explain that relationship did not make any sense to me. And that’s when I started on my current path.

Suzan Mazur: Neo-Darwinism made no sense.

Luis Villarreal: Right. In terms of selfish individual types, runaway replicators, and that whole set of related concepts.

Suzan Mazur: You open your recent New York Academy of Sciences paper on viruses by saying: “All living habitats (including prebiotic ones) have and must operate in a virosphere (a network of infectious genetic agents)”. That’s pretty sweeping.

Suzan Mazur’s book is a must-read: The Origin of Life Circus

See also: Suzan Mazur interviews an origin of life society president

as to the last comment:
You open your recent New York Academy of Sciences paper on viruses by saying: “All living habitats (including prebiotic ones) have and must operate in a virosphere (a network of infectious genetic agents)”. That’s pretty sweeping.
Here are a few recent articles on how the reductionist model of materialists has failed in biology:
Oceanic microbes behave in a synchrony across ocean basins - March 16, 2015 Excerpt: Researchers have found that microbial communities in different regions of the Pacific Ocean displayed strikingly similar daily rhythms in their metabolism despite inhabiting extremely different habitats -- the nutrient-rich waters off California and the nutrient-poor waters north of Hawai'i. Furthermore, in each location, the dominant photoautotrophs appear to initiate a cascade effect wherein the other major groups of microbes perform their metabolic activities in a coordinated and predictable way.,,, The bacterial groups common to both ecosystems displayed the same transcriptional patterns and daily rhythms -- as if each group is performing its prescribed role at a precise time each and every day, even though these communities are separated by thousands of miles. "Our work suggests that these microbial communities broadly behave in a similar manner across entire ocean basins and that specific biological interactions between these groups are widespread in nature,",,, "Surprisingly, however, our work shows that these extremely different ecosystems exhibit very similar diel cycles, driven largely by sunlight and interspecies microbial interactions," said Aylward, "This suggests that different microbial communities across the Pacific Ocean, and likely waters across the entire planet, behave in much more orderly ways than has previously been supposed," http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150316102112.htm Science with a View: Michael Denton at UC Berkeley - Casey Luskin March 18, 2015 Excerpt: Denton pointed out that in the ancient and medieval eras, philosophers saw man and nature -- including the stars and the universe -- as parts of one cohesive system that was planned by God. Later, however, materialist reductionism pulled it all apart.,,, Outside the museum is a huge sculpture of a DNA molecule -- a climbable metallic double-stranded helix complete with nucleotides. Unfortunately, the caption on the display needs some updating. It was probably written decades ago because it promotes the old gene-centric reductionist view of biology that is now known to be false.,,,, Maybe in a hundred years that caption (under the huge DNA sculpture) will have been updated to read: "DNA is a molecule that contains a long list of instructions written in a special code. Those instructions help determine the amino acid sequence of proteins and they play a major role in operating many parts of a cell. However, we now know there is also much necessary biological information that exists outside the DNA. DNA was one of the main pieces of evidence that helped scientists realize that life was intelligently designed. Why? Because instructions written in a special code have only one known cause: intelligence." http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/denton_part_2094541.html

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